Last year I was asked to recommend a fellow guest guide by Haku Expeditions to shred bikes in Peru and help with a tour! I had done a trip there the year before with them and knew my buddy Jordie Lunn would be perfect for the job, the guests and locals alike would love him, as everybody does who meets him, and he'd be a blast to ride with of course.
Sure enough, we had good times with everyone shuttling big vertical on trails just out of Cusco with 3000', 4000', and 5000' vertical descents everywhere and only riding the same trail again once the whole week. We went through brake pads and ate in both fancy restaurants, local cafes and even ate guinea pig with some friendly mountain folk farmers in their authentic dirt floor farmhouse at the base of a huge mountain in the middle of nowhere.
We then went on a 4 day camping trip deep into the Andes over the Ausengate Pass complete with Haku guests, a cook, porters, tents, food, and supplies carried by horses and got up to 16,400' above Sea Level. That was the highest either of us had ever been riding bikes.
Andrew Young flew down to video the camping trip at the last minute and he crushed the altitude and shot alongside photographer Steve Shannon who had a few more days to acclimatize. There was great weather, no wifi, cool people, amazing food camping, hot pools and sick freeride adventures all day long for 3 nights. A random friendly wild dog joined us for the 4 day journey and we fed him and he hung out with us affectionately.
We climbed laboriously at the high altitude (Jordie made me do 30 pushups with him at the top of a few mountains of course... he always did that) but then we got to ride big mountain scree lines, some chutes, steep faces, open bowls, tech chunky pitches, and flowy sweepers amongst the herds of Llamas and Alpacas and below the circling birds of prey.
There was some random centuries old trails (from many, many generations of mountain people and animals living up here at high altitude) here and there but we also got to ride some first descents too! It was a dream trip and there was much laughing, shredding, feasting, partying, and enjoying the amazing culture and massive mountains.
Tragically we lost Jordie last fall. It was a shock to lose such a loved and invincible individual. Jordie's friendliness, gentle nature, and exuberance for life will be remembered by the entire mountain bike community. He was especially amazing with kids and was easily one of the camper kids favourite coaches. My kids adored him. He was the first mountain biker to do a cork 720, had a big bag of amazing tricks and built his own creative, unique crazy stunts in the trees. He looked like a heavily muscled, tattooed MMA fighter... but had the gentle heart of a lion. A longtime racer turned freerider movie star, he was recently a renaissance man with his successful 'Rough AF' badass video series.
We had a video edited from Peru and was ready to drop it last season but shelved it immediately upon hearing the sad news and processed his passing. We didn't really know what to do with it but eventually have started to think it'd be nice for people to see an adventure with Jordie with some fun mtn biking, to remember and honor him. Thank you to Haku Expeditions for bringing us on this epic trip that I could never know at the time would be our last one together. I feel lucky to have known Jordie, to have called him a friend for decades and to have shared this time with our legendary friend!
Much love my friend. The MTB world will never forget you.—Brett Tippie
Jordie Lunn in Peru.
See more photos from the trip by Steve Shannon here.